Looking Good: How to Buy for Your Body Type
Some guys are just born with the perfect body for clothes. Tailors call these guys a "drop-six": your chest is six inches larger than your waist. If you're that guy, congratulations - you can skip this article because pretty much everything looks good on you.
For everyone else, knowing your body type and buying the right clothes for it are crucial to looking your best. You can drape yourself in the finest Armani suit, but if it's not appropriate for your body it'll never look good.
Here's a cheat sheet to the four basic men's body types and what looks good and not-so-good for each guy:
Short and lean. Guys like Tom Cruise know they look best when wearing clothes that fit their body correctly. Short and lean men should go for two-button or double-breasted suit jackets that work in proportion to their torso. Opt for thicker fabrics like corduroy that offer the illusion of heft. These guys should avoid loose fitting, baggy clothes that draw the eye to their smaller frame. When was the last time you saw Tom Cruise wearing baggy clothes? Never - he wears form fitting suits that emphasize his lean body, not his short size.
Short and stocky. Guys who are both short and stocky definitely have their work cut out for them, but all hope is not lost. Choose clothes that have a deep V at the chest to elongate your torso. V neck sweaters will do the trick, as will some single-button suits. You know the rule about horizontal stripes making you look fatter? It's true and if you're on the stocky side, avoid them. Same goes for busy plaid patterns which get in the way of your body's vertical lines. Also avoid wide pants and cuffs - both emphasize your width rather than accentuating your height.
Tall and lean. Long, lean guys should use the horizontal stripe rule in their favor. Horizontal lines will help you look broader while vertical lines will emphasize your height too much. Also, avoid tight jackets and other clothing that brings attention to your thin torso.
Big and tall. You husky guys out there sometimes have as many clothing challenges as short, stocky men. Go for cuffs on your pants - these help break up your extra long inseam. Trousers with shallow pleats - emphasis on shallow - can help slim you down. Avoid either horizontal or vertical stripes since you don't want to over-emphasize either your girth or your height. Stick with solid, darker colors like a navy suit.
No matter what your body shape, there are ways to augment your strengths and de-emphasize the parts you'd rather forget about. Try it out - it really does work.